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Free 900+ Page Unit Study for Notebookers... and More!

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, June 18, 2009

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
     Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
   Vol. 10 No 45                         June 18, 2009
                      ISSN: 1536-2035                              
   Copyright (c) 2009 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

  Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

  If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!
  And please visit our sponsors!  They make it possible.


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  Notes from Heather
  -- Notebooking and Freebies!
  Helpful Tip
  -- Even More Wisdom for Diana
  Winning Website
  -- Wolfram Alpha Computations
  Reader Question
  -- How to Convince My Husband?
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  Notebooking -- and a BIG Free Unit Study!


  I subscribe to a Yahoo email group called 'Notebooking' --
  and one of the members is sharing a unit study she has spent a
  long time preparing!  Members often share what they have
  created -- but Patty has been working on this one since January
  and it is a big one!


  Patty writes --

  "Hi everyone -- I just wanted to let you know that I have finished
  my project on The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett.  I have
  a full download available of the entire study.  Each unit covers 10
  of the stories/poems/essays that are included in The Book of Virtues.
  Each story has worksheets, notebook pages, vocabulary, character
  study sheets, copywork, 1-2 projects (plus a long term project) and
  a lapbook with an optional unit wrap up activity.  And, to top it
  off, a full lesson plan for older kids and a separate one for primary
  aged children.

  The full project is 992 pages long!! The download is 18.93 MB, so
  it's rather large.  I will have individual units available -- I just
  haven't linked them yet.

  Please note that though each unit is roughly 100 pages.  It is not
  required to DO all those pages.  For instance, if you do the work-
  sheets, you probably shouldn't worry about the notebook pages.  If
  your children are young, you could skip the projects.  If they are
  *really* young, just do the 'wrap up' after reading each story.

  Oh -- and just one small side note -- this is a free download!  If
  you get a moment and would like to comment on it, please stop by
  my blog and let me know what you think!! :-)

  Here's a link to the information on my site.  This has a ton of
  explanations to some of the projects and activities.  I highly
  recommend taking a look at the project information at the very least.


  Here is a direct link to the download:


  If you are on dial up, please either use the smaller links available
  (the sections) or wait a day or two for me to link to the full unit

  -- Patty, Shiver Academy


  Here is one comment Patty already received about her offering:

  "WOW!!!!  This is an amazing piece of work!  Thank you SO MUCH for
  sharing it!  I was just wondering what to do for our character/virtue
  studies, and abracadabra, here it is.  I really am looking forward
  to digging into it, and again, this is absolutely spectacular!  I
  feel like I hit the lottery.  Thanks again for your generosity."


  You can join the Notebooking group Patty is on by going to this link:


  The group is sponsored by Jeff and Kate Estes of Hands and Hearts.
  They offer great kits as well as a growing selection of wonderful
  homeschooling materials at http://www.handsnhearts.com

  For more FREE notebooking info, tips, and templates, you can visit:



  Do you have comments to share?  Please do!
  Send your emails to:  mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net

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      Helpful Tip

  Somehow I missed several answers to Diana's question of a few
  issues back about her 7 year old son's difficulties with applying
  himself.  The original question and answers appeared in this issue:


  Here is one more answer we received -- this one from a reader named
  Kim -- that has some good, practical wisdom for Diana... and for
  many more of us, as well! :-)


  "Diana -- If I were you, I would just go ahead and sit with him.
  He WANTS you there, because he NEEDS you there.  He can't explain
  it; he doesn't know why. 

  We have this idea that all kids should sit at their desks and
  complete their work.  But they are not necessarily programmed
  that way. I think we sometimes expect our kids to be like the
  kids we've seen on TV: 'Everyone, off to your room!  Do your
  homework!' -- and they all parade off and do their homework.  We
  have this idea that once they get their assignment, our work is
  done and it is up to them to finish the rest.  Well, that may be
  true to a certain extent, but I think we slowly work toward that
  goal.  I wouldn't expect it until your child reaches high school.

  My daughter was like this, even into junior high!  She could get
  her math done in half the time, with half the frustration, if I
  just was at the table with her.  Our other subjects were very
  interactive, all of us working together on projects or notebooks.
  My kids absolutely thrived in this environment.  So, it makes sense
  that my daughter would not enjoy sitting by herself with a full
  page of work to complete... at seven, it probably looks fairly

  As adults we think, 'Good grief!  Just do the work.  It isn't that
  much; you're spending more time whining than it would take to finish
  the page!'

  But, that is not how kids' minds work.  I think many kids simply
  need more companionship and feel like they are 'all alone' when
  left to complete work by themselves... it is too much for them.
  Some kids just don't function well that way.

  Your son is only seven; he is still a little boy who needs encourage-
  ment, conversation, and close contact.  I think if he gets what he
  needs, when he needs it, he will excel.

  By the way, both my kids had their weird idiosyncrasies.  Often
  people would tell me I was being too easy on them and that I was
  going to hinder their maturity.  But we slowly worked through it
  and they were happy.  Now they are both in college, both on the
  Dean's List; neither of them had any problems whatsoever adjusting
  to college life.  I think that by giving them what they needed,
  when they needed it, they were able to work through it and grow at
  their own pace." -- Kim

  Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share?  Please write!
  Send to:  mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

      Winning Website


  This site is considered "the site with a brain".

  Explore all the links on the left hand side of the site and you
  will get an idea of what it is all about!

  From the website:

  "Wolfram Alpha's long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge
  immediately computable and accessible to everyone.  We aim to
  collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model,
  method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can
  be computed about anything...  As of now, Wolfram Alpha contains 10+
  trillion of pieces of data, 50,000+ types of algorithms and models,
  and linguistic capabilities for 1000+ domains."

      Last Issue's Reader Question

  "Hi -- I'm the mom of an almost 4 year old.  I'm pretty certain
  homeschooling makes sense for my son, but my husband is against it.
  Do your readers have any advice for convincing a anti-homeschooling
  spouse?  Thanks." -- Kobie

      Our Readers' Responses 

  "Kobie -- First, let me caution you against homeschooling without
  your husband's support.  Even if he eventually says he doesn't mind
  if *you* homeschool your son, it will be much harder without his
  attention and help.  I know -- I made this mistake to begin with!
  You have some time, so I would recommend several actions you can
  take that will give your husband a chance to see why you think this
  is a good idea for your family.  Write down a list of everything
  you considered, why you think homeschooling is a good idea.  It
  will clear your mind and if you share it with him, it may help
  him understand as well.  Try not to nag -- if your husband can be
  stubborn, it may backfire.  Be patient; you are asking him to shift
  his worldview.  Arrange a visit with a local public school kinder-
  garten, and ask your husband to go with you.  Ask if you can pop
  in from time to time over the next year, as prospective parents --
  then do it.  The visits will be much more revealing when they are
  not pre-arranged, and the staff is just doing their normal routine.
  If you haven't yet, find a local homeschool support group and ask
  to join them to observe or for outings; make some friends, invite
  other families over to fellowship.  Pick families that have children
  the same age as yours, and in which both parents are active.  Even
  without your prompting the conversation will eventually turn to
  homeschooling.  If the first family you invite doesn't click, pick
  another.  Develop a system of support with others who have children
  the same ages as yours, and the long-term benefits can be amazing.
  Pray for your husband, and ask God to help him listen to you, and
  to work through other people that your husband will listen to.  Find
  websites or books that are from the homeschooling dad's perspective,
  and place those in his way -- leave a book on the nightstand,
  forward him a funny email.  Above all, be prepared that he may not
  consent.  Decide early: is this worth the battle?  Can our family
  function if I decide to do something my husband does not support?
  For us, it took my husband seeing one child struggle through early
  elementary and seeing the difference of homeschooling before he
  gave his support.  I think it is great you want to homeschool, and
  it is a wonderful experience for both the parents and the children,
  but not if one parent is kicking and screaming, or completely
  non-attentive." -- Anne


  "Kobie -- I faced the same reaction from my husband.  I showed him
  the statistics about how well homeschoolers scored on college
  entrance when I was researching homeschooling.  I even questioned
  and nagged. It doesn't work, don't try it.  Then I just prayed and
  put it in God's hands.  He handled it and changed my husband's heart.
  My lesson learned was to trust Him, and to keep my mouth shut with
  the nagging." -- Audra in Alabama


  "Hi Kobie -- My husband was 'hooked' after attending a large local
  homeschool conference; If you're in New England, you might like to
  check out MassHOPE's annual conference in Worcester, MA.  (I know
  there are other conferences around the country.)  Attending the
  breakout sessions, seeing other families, and attending the sessions
  especially geared to homeschooling dads convinced him.  Now, when
  I'm discouraged, he is my strongest supporter. :-)

  In the meantime, try to find a homeschool support group and meet
  with those families over the summer.  With a 4 year old, the world
  is his 'classroom' -- Enjoy it!" -- Tricia in NH


  "Kobie -- Ask your husband to read The Christian Home School by
  Gregg Harris.  My husband and I read this book when we first
  considered homeschooling, and Harris really helped to solidify our
  desires for our children.  He put into words what we suspected about
  children and education.  Also, since your child is so young, you
  really do have time to try homeschooling.  In the early grades
  there is really no reason to invest a lot of money in curriculum --
  you can use library books and inexpensive workbooks or just make
  your own stuff.

  Having been a public school teacher, I can truly say that there is
  nothing magical about public school (or private school, for that
  matter).  No teacher knows your child better than you do, and no
  one knows what your child needs better than you do.  Our society
  has indoctrinated parents into believing that educators are trained
  to know what is the best way to teach our children and exactly what
  they need to know to be successful adults.  That's just not true!
  After I completed my master's degree in education and passed my
  teacher certification test, I really was no better prepared to
  teach anyone's child than a grocery store clerk would have been. 

  Parents gain a great deal of knowledge throughout their lives, and
  God imparts wisdom to those who ask for it.  God gives parents -–
  not the local school system -- the responsibility to teach their
  children.  And He always equips us for every calling He gives us.
  RELAX!" -- Tina J.


  "First, I would suggest that you pray that God would open up the
  eyes of your (both of you) understanding and that you would be in

  Second, I think you need to do your homework.  Figure out the real
  reasons you want to homeschool.  This will be good for you, and it
  will help you to explain your position to your husband.

  Third, ask him what it is that he has a problem with.  Let him
  express himself and listen to his concerns.  He may have concerns
  you might not have thought about." -- Nicole


  "Kobie, I believe you must start with prayer, and request prayer
  support from others.  Do you have opportunities to be around
  homeschool families?  Perhaps your husband would be more open to
  homeschooling if he could observe the difference in the children.
  Would he be willing to attend a homeschool conference or other
  event?  Does he read or listen to recorded messages?  There is
  an abundance of resources with information which would make sense
  to men.  I recommend The Children of Caesar and other materials
  from Voddie Baucham.  Ask him what his objections are, and
  respectfully address them.  For example, if he is concerned about
  the cost, assure him that it doesn't have to cost very much; then
  go about showing him just how frugal you can be." -- Mary Beth


  "We decided by having our children attend kindergarten.  One went
  on to first grade, but it was apparent to me that school was not
  working for him halfway through that year and, with more experience,
  it was apparent halfway through kindergarten that it was not working
  for our second child.  After the children left school, we deschooled
  for awhile, then picked up homeschooling.  That was 7 years ago for
  the older child and 5 years ago for the younger.  Both are doing
  well in homeschool." -- Anne


  "Kobie -- If it was my husband, he would want to know facts and
  figures -- statistics of success rates, solid facts of why homeschool
  is better than public/private school, etc.  My husband does not want
  to read through a bunch of information; he wants a summary from me!
  So, make sure you have done a lot of research, know your subject,
  and give him a synopsis.

  But Kobie, I really have to tell you that if your husband is not
  at least somewhat supportive, or at least agreeable to your decision,
  I would say that you should not homeschool your child.  Homeschooling
  is one of the most rewarding yet most challenging things I have ever
  done.  Even on the good days, you really need your husband to support
  you and stand behind you as you teach your child.  As in every other
  major decision you make in your marriage, you have to be united in
  order for things to be successful.  You wouldn't consider buying a
  house or a car that your husband did not want to buy, would you?  In
  order to succeed, you really both need to be involved -- not in the
  day-to-day teaching, but in the commitment to teaching your child."
  -- Mindy


  "Kobie -- You say you're 'pretty certain', but if you were 100% sold
  out passionate about it, your husband may find that contagious.  If
  your husband is against it, it isn't going to work.  You should submit
  to your husband, pray about it, and watch how God works it out."
  -- Janel

     Answer our NEW Question

  "I would like to know if anyone has used Thinkwell's programs.  We
  are looking at American Government and would like some input.  I
  am also looking at Thinkwell's Chemistry to enhance Apologia with
  lectures.  Also -- has anyone used or seen Christian Light Education's
  'Small Gas Engine Repair'. Any info would be great." -- Terri


  Do you have some observations or input for Terri? 

  Please send your answer to:  mailto:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

     Ask YOUR Question

  Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

  Send it to mailto:HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
  if we can help you out in a future issue!

     Need Immediate Help?

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  and let them know that Heather sent you!

  This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
  there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening
  ear and encouragement.


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